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Is it possible my dog could work as a guardian dog?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PureFluff, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. PureFluff

    PureFluff In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2010
    Otis, ORE
    I haven't gotten my chickens yet, but the only place I feel I can put my coop in within my dogs under-ground electric fencing is. Now, that's fine if I have to put a run around the coop, I suppose, but I was thinking that my dog is likely to keep predators at bay when he's outside, and I would like my chickens to be able to roam free... Excepting the fence separating the property from the highway.

    And let's face it, hardware cloth is expensive.

    To give some insight on my dog, he's a pitbull/boxer/great dane mix (if you had a negative reaction at "pitbull" please 1. leave this post and 2. die in a fire) who has been raised around small animals. I let my pet rats freely roam the house for awhile where I was between cages with no issues, they used to pick on him! My boyfriends dog ended up killing one (it was in a cage, the dog jumped at the cage and it had a heart attack) and the whole time, he was trying to protect the rat. His dog is currently no longer with us, though he really was sweet despite his dislike for my lovable rodents. I also have a dove in a large cage that is on the floor of the room he resides when he needs to be out of the way or is left home alone.

    The chickens will be in the coop itself during the night and that will be built extra securely, and while my dog will not be out there all the time, I feel it would be a good way to let my chickens freerange since it's the largest open area on the property.

    But, I am open to suggestions and personal insights.

  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    You should be able to do it. I am not generally a fan of pitbulls and their crosses owing to local versions I deal with although it is evident many are very well suited to training and have many of the attributes needed to defend a flock in a relatively small area. Key is your level of control and your dogs self control.
  3. mrforkie

    mrforkie In the Brooder

    Jan 12, 2013
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    I dont know much about chickens as most of the folks on here i do however know a thing or 2 about dogs, the boxer pit mix is definetly good for protection assuming he knows the chickens are friend and not snacks
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Little extreme, don't you think? Could have just quit at the first statement.
  5. PureFluff

    PureFluff In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2010
    Otis, ORE
    Thank you for the opinions thus far. And yes, I apologize for the extreme statement... Comes pretty naturally after hearing so many negative remarks against pitbulls, I suppose. That doesn't excuse me saying such a thing. This is not the right place for such comments. My bad.

    I plan on having Walter be there throughout the brooding process of my first chicks, and then from thereon having him be around them often. I do think that he grows a tight bond with animals that are raised around him as much as animals he was raised around. I'm very careful to introduce him carefully and slowly, and with a close eye. Teaching him manners is easy.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  6. TheReadyBoys

    TheReadyBoys Chirping

    Jul 2, 2012
    P.E.I, Canada
    I think you can. When you get the chicks, you should introduce them, this way the dog knows they are friendly and will bond with them, protecting them. Make sure not to just let him loose the first few days/week.

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